Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/309

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295
THE CLASSICAL QUESTION IN GERMANY.

Now as to the report itself, it may fairly be objected by the real-school men that the real schools have not had a fair trial, that the period of probation has been so brief that any report made now, whether favorable or unfavorable, must be regarded as premature and at best merely provisional. The real schools of the first class are not yet twenty-five years old. The regulation admitting their graduates to partial university privileges bears date, as said above, of December 7, 1870. In less than ten years they were expected to win a place by the side of their rivals, which even their bitter opponents (for the professors who made the reports were all graduates of the gymnasia) should acknowledge to be an equal one, and if they should not succeed in doing this they were to be condemned as unable to fit boys properly for the university. Further, they were expected to do this with almost no aid from the Government, while their rivals were largely supported by contributions from the state. How just this complaint is may be seen from the reports of government aid accorded in Prussia to these two classes of schools. In the year 1869 the Government contributed 714,148 thalers out of a total expenditure of 2,851,253 thalers for gymnasia; and in 1874, 1,319,990 thalers out of a total of 4,385,940 thalers for the same purpose. In the former year the real schools of the first class cost 666,368 thalers, of which the Government contributed 15,558 thalers. In the latter year the respective sums stood 1,251,921 and 97,421 thalers. It thus appears that the Government paid in 1869 nearly forty-six times as much toward supporting gymnasia as it did toward supporting real schools, and in 1874 over thirteen times as much. In 1869 it paid over twenty-five per cent of the total expense of all gymnasia, and less than three per cent of that of the real schools; in 1874 the respective rates stood over thirty per cent and less than eight per cent. It will thus be seen that the Government has proceeded on the plan of allowing the real schools to pay their own way. The wonder is, that they have such good results to show for their work under such circumstances. It should be also considered in this connection that the proper equipment of a real school, with first-class apparatus, etc., costs much more than that of a gymnasium. Another fact should be borne in mind, that owing to this lack of support the number of such schools is much smaller than that of the gymnasia, and they have consequently not had so extensive a field to draw from as the latter. Another important point must be mentioned in this connection. Up to 1871 the graduates of the real school passed immediately into active life instead of attending a higher institution of learning. The matter and methods of the school had, therefore, exclusive reference to that fact, and under the new system they must have time to modify and adapt themselves to the altered circumstances. Any practical teacher will appreciate the importance of this consideration. These are some of the objections which the defenders of the real schools have to urge against any unfavorable report made at this stage of the work. Against